Michigan lawmakers put restrictions on abortion insurance

Lawmakers pass law restricting abortion coverage in insurance plans; governor can't veto

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

LANSING, Mich. - Despite advice cautioning GOP members against taking the vote and allowing it to go to a vote of the people in Nov. 2014, the GOP House and Senate voted Wednesday to approve a bill by Right to Life Michigan that now will not allow private insurance companies to include abortion and other reproductive services like D and C's often done post miscarriage.

Women will have to purchase extra insurance to cover those items. Not one Republican in the Michigan Senate spoke in support of this Wednesday night, while the Democrats, especially members who are women, gave impassioned pleas not to do this.

That includes Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, who shared something that brought the Senate to a standstill: she herself was a victim of rape.

"The thought -- how extreme does this measure need to be?" said Whitmer.

A handful of GOP legislators spoke in favor of the bill in the State House.

"Women will still have the right to choose because they can choose to purchase a rider, which will cover elective abortions," said Rep. Nancy Jenkins (R- Clayton).

It's important to realize that Gov. Snyder already vetoed this issue. Right to Life collected nearly 300,000 valid signatures to go around the governor and use a little used move that gives the state legislature the option to vote on it, or send it to a vote of the public.

If the legislature passes the bill, like it did Wednesday night it's immune from the governor's veto.

Polling suggests that only one-third of Michigan voters support the bill.

It was a major win by Right to Life on Wednesday, but some Democrats are vowing to start a petition drive to repeal it.

Wednesday night's vote secures the support of Right to Life in the 2014 Republican primaries, but it will be interesting to see if it has any affect on Republican candidates in the general election.

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